Editor’s note: This is a preview of a breakout session to be held during the inaugural Hotel Data Conference in August (see below for more conference information, or by visiting www.HotelDataConference.com presented by Magnuson Hotels.)
HENDERSONVILLE, Tennessee—The current economic downturn facing the hotel industry is unique in the sense that is has reached global levels not see in decades. Year to date ending April, across the four world regions (Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and Middle East/Africa) room demand and room revenue are down and in many cases have hit double digit declines. Among the bleak news we have been inundated with over the past three quarters, it is always good when you find a few shining stars.
We have identified six global markets that have been performing a bit better than others during this downturn. Within these six global markets, STR and STR Global sample anywhere between 55 percent to 94 percent of the total room supply.
Year to date ending April, four out of the six markets experienced positive room demand growth over last year. The Saudi Arabia market had the largest demand growth, ending at 16.3 percent; and the Jeddah market came in next with a positive demand growth of 4.5 percent. These two Middle East markets have extremely high room revenue growth, both above 25 percent, exceeding the overall region’s room revenue growth of 17.6 percent.
In the United Kingdom, two markets that performed better than others in the region are the Scotland and Greater London markets. The Scotland market has experienced an increase of 1.1 percent in demand while dropping 0.2 percent in room revenue. Although the Greater London market has experienced a 2.2 percent decline in demand and a 7.4 percent decline in room revenue, this market is faring better than the region. The United Kingdom has seen a 4.2 percent drop in demand and a 9.1 decline in room revenue.
Another market that has experienced declines in both measures but continues to outperform the rest of its region is the Montreal market. Montreal has seen a 2.6 percent decline in demand and a 5.2 percent decline in room revenue. Canada has seen a drop of 6.2 in demand and 8.0 in room revenue. One last shining star is the Washington, DC market. Washington, DC is one of only two markets of the Top 25 markets in the U.S. that experienced flat or positive growth in room demand. Washington, DC has seen a 0.6 percent increase for the year to date ending April. The DC market has also seen a 1.3 percent increase in room revenue, making it the only market in the Top 25 that has seen positive gains in room revenue. The DC market can credit these gains to the presidential inauguration in January of this year.
The global hotel industry is not out of the woods just yet and will be faced with a challenging operating environment throughout 2009. If your hotel is located in a market that has been successful at maintaining and even growing room demand and revenue, be happy and keep doing what you are doing. For the rest of the markets, keep smiling and continue to provide your customers with the best service possible. We will all be shining soon.
About the Hotel Data Conference
Editor’s note: In preparation for the upcoming Hotel Data Conference, session coordinators and moderators are writing weekly articles about their topics for HotelNewsNow.com.
The Hotel Data Conference presented by Magnuson Hotels will be held August 4-5 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. The conference will cover many topics such as: U.S. hotel industry forecasts from STR, PKF Consulting, and PricewaterhouseCoopers; revenue-management techniques during a recession; consumer business and leisure travel; hotel demand and industry cycle; and STR data overviews, including top markets, customer segments, chain scale, pipeline and hotel operation statistics.
Speakers and panelists at the conference include: Mark Lomanno, president of STR; Scott Berman, the U.S. industry leader of the Hospitality and Leisure Consulting Group of PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P.; Brian Ferguson, vice president of supply strategy and analysis for Expedia, Inc.; Kate Henriksen, senior vice president of investment and portfolio management at RLJ; Robert Morse, senior director of corporate revenue management for White Lodging; Webster O’Brien, vice president of SH&E; Gary Portuesi, vice president of lodging account development for American Express; Mark Woodworth, executive vice president of PKF Consulting; Maria Simos, CEO of e-forecasting.com; Dr. Evangelos Otto Simos, strategist and chief economist at e-forecasting.com; Nate Fristoe, director of RRC Associates; Robert Bowers, Jr., senior vice president of operations for STR; Vail Brown, vice president of global sales and marketing for STR; Brad Garner, vice president of operations and client relations for STR; Duane Vinson, vice president of content management for STR. Moderators include Jeff Higley, vice president of digital media and communications for STR and Lana Yoshii, vice president of new product development for STR.